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BlackBerry Classic: An Open Letter from John Chen

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To our loyal (current and former) BlackBerry users:

BlackBerry is driven by an urgent, obsessive focus on what matters: you. When we lose sight of what you want and you need, we lose you.

It’s tempting in a rapidly changing, rapidly growing mobile market to change for the sake of change – to mimic what’s trendy and match the industry-standard, kitchen-sink approach of trying to be all things to all people.

But there’s also something to be said for the classic adage, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

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BlackBerry Classic reflects that. It is classic BlackBerry – complete with a top row of navigation keys and a trackpad. It’s the device that has always felt right in your hands and always felt right in your busy day.

Of course, we’ve made quite a few enhancements around the edges and on the inside. The screen is bigger and sharper. Our application catalogue is growing. The BlackBerry 10 operating system incorporates all the best productivity and collaboration features on any mobile device, including the BlackBerry Hub and our all-new BlackBerry Blend.

Sure, we’ve got new BlackBerry devices that break the mold, including the BlackBerry Passport. But we also recognize that a lot of you continue to hang on to your Bold devices because they get the job done, day in and day out – just like you.

We get it, and we’ve got you covered.

Innovation is a word that gets used too often and carelessly. Innovation is not about blowing up what works to make something new – it’s about taking what works and making it better. In that sense, BlackBerry Classic represents the kind of innovation BlackBerry – and you – strive toward every day.

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You don’t reinvent yourself every day; you take what you learned yesterday and sharpen it today. You drive change – often on your terms, but sometimes not. That you keep going regardless is what distinguishes you as a grown-up. You’re in it for the long haul.

So is BlackBerry. The things you remember about BlackBerry that made you better are better than ever with BlackBerry Classic. BlackBerry Classic is for you, as is everything we do every day.

We are committed to earning your business – or earning it back, if that’s the case. In the weeks ahead, BlackBerry will be sharing more details about Classic that we think you’ll like. In the meantime, we encourage you to visit BlackBerry.com/Classic to see for yourself why BlackBerry Classic is aptly named.

Sincerely,

John S. Chen  
Executive Chair and CEO


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John Chen

About John Chen

As Executive Chairman and CEO of BlackBerry Limited, John Chen is responsible for defining the company’s vision and goals, setting its strategy, and ensuring the team’s execution matches corporate objectives. Appointed in November 2013, John has led BlackBerry through a successful pivot from hardware icon to software leader. Today the company is poised to leverage its brand strength and heritage in mobile security along with its enterprise cybersecurity and embedded software growth engines to accelerate into the Enterprise of Things, an emerging category with billions of connected devices and massive market potential.

John came to BlackBerry a distinguished leader and proven turnaround executive with more than 40 years of engineering and management experience along with a reputation that extends well-beyond the technology industry. Prior to joining BlackBerry, John served as Chairman and CEO of Sybase Inc. where he re-invented the company and led it through 55 consecutive quarters of profitability, providing outstanding shareholder returns during his 15-year tenure.

A global business leader with a strong interest in policy, John has testified before Congress on U.S.–China trade relations and was appointed by U.S. President George W. Bush to serve on the President's Export Council. In 2006, he was appointed co-chair of the Secure Borders and Open Doors Advisory Committee. Additionally, John chaired the U.S.-China Policy Advisory Roundtable for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), served on the Board of the National Committee on U.S. China Relations from 2012-2018, and has been a member of the Committee of 100 since 1997 and its Chairman from 2009-2011.

John graduated magna cum laude from Brown University with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and a master's in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). John has an honorary professorship from Shanghai University, and honorary doctorates from San Jose State University, City University of Hong Kong, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. John has received awards from the U.S.-Asia Institute, the U.S.-China Policy Foundation, the California-Asia Business Council, and the U.S.-Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation.

John served on the Board of Directors for The Walt Disney Company (2004-2019) and Wells Fargo & Co. (2006-2018). He is also active in the not-for-profit community, and is a trustee of Caltech, board member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, member of CFR, national trustee of The First Tee and Governor of the San Francisco Symphony.